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Department of Criminology & Justice Studies

The Department of Criminology and Justice Studies at Drexel University features hands-on career experience, community-based courses, and one of the only curriculums in the U.S. to integrate crime mapping, hot-spotting and intelligence analysis.

How did the War on Drugs of the '80s and '90s impact urban communities, from street-corner dealing and violence, to overall community health? How do so-called Three Strikes laws typically influence the decisions of judges at sentencing? How far will the War on Terrorism push the legal boundaries of government surveillance? How is “big data” used by justice, intelligence or private organizations to identify social networks, assess risk, and make decisions about crime policy and resource deployment? Drexel University's Department of Criminology and Justice Studies empowers students to address these and other issues of crime and justice policy.

We offer three concentrations

  • Criminology and Justice Policy
  • Justice Informatics
  • Criminal Justice
    • Each criminology and justice studies area offers students foundational knowledge and the tools of the discipline, while allowing them to specialize in their area of interest.

What is Criminal Justice Studies?

What is criminal justice studies — and what’s the difference between criminal justice and criminology? Criminology refers to the study of crime and justice in society. It uses sociological, psychological, technological and legal perspectives to theorize the causes and effects of crime and justice policy. Criminal justice generally refers to the application of those ideas and theories within a judicial system, with a focus on law enforcement and corrections. Despite the differences between criminal justice and criminology, the disciplines share a focus on preventing crime and ultimately creating safer societies.

The Drexel Co-Op for Drexel Criminology & Justice Studies Students

Through Drexel's renowned cooperative education program, criminal and justice studies students experience six-months of full-time employment, exploring their career options, strengthening their résumés and building a professional network in the process.

The Department of Criminology and Justice Studies offers a four-year, one co-op option; and a four-year, no co-op option. However, we strongly encourage students to take advantage of the co-op program.

Learn more about the Drexel Co-Op Program

Community based Learning in Crime and Justice Studies

The College of Arts and Sciences offers a range of community-based learning courses that allow students to immerse themselves in course material and learn side-by-side with community partners. To explore justice studies in America, we take our students straight to the source; we offer two of our core courses in community settings — one of which (Prison, Society and You) is taught in a local prison.

View Current Community-based Learning Classes

“Dr. Cyndi Rickards stated in the course Prison, Society, and You that 'People, are not/cannot be inherently bad, but instead just make bad choices.' That will always stick with me."

Khalil McFarlane

BS Criminology & Justice Studies
& Sociology '21

Read more CJS Student Stories

Recent News

  • student working at chalkboard Winter Courses Dive into money laundering cases, the rich biodiversity of Ecuador, or the philosophy of desire in these new and noteworthy winter courses!
  • Jason Orne, PhD and Jennifer Stanford, PhD Four CoAS Projects Funded in Support of Racial Equity This summer, Drexel University’s Office of Research and Innovation funded projects by 22 faculty and staff across the university from its Rapid Response Research and Development Fund, which was designated for urgent action, short-term projects focused on racial equity. Learn more about the funded projects out of the College of Arts and Sciences, and how the researchers are tackling issues from bystandership among police officers to inclusive teaching practices.
  • Logo - Drexel Office of the Provost College of Arts and Sciences Faculty Awards The mission of the College of Arts and Sciences and the University could not be accomplished without the dedication and support of our faculty members. It is their pursuit of excellence in teaching, research and scholarship that reinforces our position as a modern liberal arts college and enhances our University’s reputation as a world-class research institution.
  • New CoAS Minors, Concentrations and Certificates Cultivate your intellectual passions and diversify your skills with one of these new and revised CoAS programs!
  • multi-ethnic hands - Our world can't wait. CoAS Creates New Role: Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion The College of Arts and Sciences is pleased to announce that it will appoint an internal candidate to the new role of Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, with an expected start date of September 1, 2020. This new position will report directly to the Dean and become a member of the Dean’s Leadership Team, a group comprising Department Heads, Associate Deans and Directors.

More News

Upcoming Events

There are currently no upcoming events.

Prospective Students

Please email coas@drexel.edu or call us at 215.895.1805 with any questions you may have. We look forward to hearing from you!


Undergraduate Advising

Mica Storer, Academic Adviser, Drexel University College of Arts and Sciences

Mica Storer

Academic Adviser
3401 Market Street, 110-H
215.571.4628 | mls46@drexel.edu

Contact Us

Department of Criminology & Justice Studies

3401 Market Street, Suite 110
Philadelphia, PA 19104
215.571.4628 | mls46@drexel.edu